Station Break - Broadcasting & Cable

Station Break

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Here comes the Sun

Scripps-owned WMAR-TV Baltimore will enter an agreement for joint reporting, advertising and promotion with the Baltimore Sun,
the paper reported last week. In addition to putting the newspaper's reporters on the air, the station will exchange on-air ads for ads newspaper ads and might jointly sell ad space.

The Tribune-owned publication is dominant in its market, with editorial staff in the hundreds in the city and numerous bureaus. The Sun
said union concessions had to be negotiated with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists to allow the newspaper reporters to appear on TV.

WMAR-TV has been ratings-troubled, finishing well behind its two competitors at 11 p.m. in the November sweeps. The station has let several staffers go, most notably its big-ticket anchor, Stan Stovall, who reportedly earned about $300,000 annually.

Doerr open at KENS

Belo's KENS-TV San Antonio has hired Tom Doerr as news director.

He was news director at WPLG(TV) Miami for five years before joining consulting group AR&D as a consultant and was news director at KTRK-TV Houston before that. He worked briefly as an independent consultant following the implosion and dramatic restructuring at AR&D last year but decided to return to the news business when his family objected to his extensive traveling after Sept. 11.

Doerr had consulted with KENS-TV for four years at AR&D, and General Manager Bob McGann discussed the job with him following the departure of News Director Nick Simonette, who left to become general manager at WAFB(TV) Baton Rouge, La.

Land sheds office

One of the nation's senior broadcasters, Allan Land, has retired as president of Southeastern Ohio Broadcasting, which owns WHIZ-TV Zanesville, Ohio. He joined WHIZ(AM) as a newsman, then moved into management shortly after the TV station signed on in 1953. "I got out of news," he says, "when I found out where they kept the money." He became company president in 1960.

Land's son Eric, also a former newsman, is general manager at Media General's WFLA-TV Tampa, Fla.

Buffalo gals…

Won't you come out this afternoon? Granite Broadcasting's WKBW-TV Buffalo, N.Y., plans to launch a 4 p.m. newscast to better appeal to the female demo. News Director Bob Yuna said the program, slated for September launch, will be different from other newscasts in the market: "More women are watching at 4 p.m., and the content of the program will reflect the kind of news and topical issues that are of interest to the majority of viewers."

Neighborhood beat

WCBS-TV New York last week unveiled a new "beat"-reporting plan to cover the city's five boroughs and Westchester County in greater depth, said News Director Joel Cheatwood. "In a region this large, the tendency is to cover stories that best represent the common interest of the entire area, essentially losing the neighborhood perspective."

The station named as its Bronx reporter Victoria Mondesire, who has been covering the borough for Cablevision's News 12. Paul Fleuranges will cover Brooklyn and Staten Island; Rose Walia, Queens; Marcella Palmer and Aimee Nuzzo, New Jersey; and Jennifer McLogan, Long Island.

Help me, says Rondo

Don Rondo, the 1950s pop singer who became a political talk-show host in New Hampshire, sued his former station, WMUR-TV Manchester, claiming that it had breached an agreement he had with former owner Imes Communications to run his Sunday political show until 2008. The station denies the claim and plans to contest the suit.

Trucker charged

Idaho truck driver Bret Lee was charged last week with negligent homicide for the accident last month that killed KRTV(TV) Great Falls, Mont., reporter Jennifer Hawkins and part-time photographer David Gerdrum (B&C, 1/21, p. 36).

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